SATR for Stadt.Wand.Kunst 2022 – Chinese whispers on the walls of Mannheim
There is often a long way between the idea of an artist participating at the Stadt.Wand.Kunst mural festival in Mannheim Germany, and the artist actually executing their work there. For the Chinese artist SATR, that path between idea and act was even longer than one might think. 60 emails, 9000 km, and various lockdowns later – It was not just the distance between her hometown of Guangzhou in China and Mannheim that needed to be negotiated, but also over 60 emails and numerous lockdowns that prevented SATR’s arrival from taking place. Thankfully in June/July 2022, it finally happened. SATR’s arrival meant that the mural entitled “Whisper” could finally come to life. The large apartment building facade, pre-coated in a bold clean white was to be the basis of this captivating mural. SATR, who made her entry into the street art realm in 2013, has paved her unique path through the world by merging animals, a limited but bold color palette of predominantly black, white, red, and very few other colors, and an engaging transparent style that has a ghostly smokey appeal, in a technique that is reminiscent of Chinese brush painting done in the street art way.
Originating from years of experimentation with transparent colors, her approach also shows a refined knowledge of equilibrium, successfully using positive and negative space in regard to the wall space she covers and that she leaves free of paint. An ideal working process for her as she took the qualities of the Montana BLACK, Montana GOLD and particularly the Montana GOLD Transparent colors cans to their limits. Opaque and transparent carefully juxtapose with each other in all her concepts, with the main focus always being animals. Tigers, lions, eagles, and wolves, to name a few, are all animals that have strong symbolic origins that find their way into SATR artworks. For Stadt.Wand.Kunst, it was a panther and a leopard.
The mural shows human emotions in the animal world
“Whisper”, the title of SATR’s SWK mural takes the viewer in various directions. Questions are raised the longer one ponders the mural. Why is a panther whispering to a leopard? Is this a trusted relationship between the two animal breeds that we are looking at? And as the artist herself explains, “the mural shows human emotions in the animal world”. A notion that is seldom raised in artworks on the street. The local residents of the Mannheim suburb Waldhof looked on in amazement as the mural took shape. Yet another milestone for SATR and the team at SWK, taking international street art to new heights each year.
SATR „Whisper“, (2022) Alsenweg 64, 68305 Mannheim
Text by René van Kan; Photography by Alexander Krziwanie / MontanaCans